Facelift Review

artist: Alice in Chains date: 07/08/2013 category: compact discs
Alice in Chains: Facelift
Released: Aug 21, 1990
Genre: Alternative Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Grunge
Label: Columbia
Number Of Tracks: 12
"Facelift" was one of the most important records in establishing an audience for grunge and alternative rock among hard rock and heavy metal listeners.
 Sound: 8.9
 Lyrics: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.6
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (7) 15 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.3
Facelift Reviewed by: DownInAHole., on august 07, 2006
7 of 10 people found this review helpful

Sound: Along with Nirvana's Nevermind, Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger, and Pearl Jam's Ten this album set the bar for seattle grunge rock. Everybody has their opinions, but I think this album had potential to be better. Yes, Man In The Box is an awesome tune, and yes this is a great album, but I strongly believe the guitar work on this album could be better, because Jerry Cantrell is amazing. It sounds like typical grunge music, which I love. Layne Staley's voice was at its best though during the recording of Facelift. Which brings out Jerry Cantrell's guitar work, Mike Starr's bass work, and Sean Kinney's phenomenal drums. // 9

Lyrics: Lyrically, Layne is the epitome of grunge vocalists and it really shows on Facelift. Jerry is also a great songwriter. The lyrics went great with the music, and I think that is important in a good album. Layne is an excellent singer and I think he deserves more recogntion than what he got. RIP Layne. // 9

Overall Impression: My overall impression of this album is I think it deserves a 10. I bought this album when I was 11 years old used for $6.99 never hearing anything off of it. I thought the cover was cool and I wanted to hear their stuff. When I took it home and listened to it I was dumbfounded, it's that good. I strongly urge you to go pick up a copy. If I lost it I would definately go buy another one. If your into the '90s grunge sound (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, etc.) then I think you will enjoy this album as much as I did. // 10

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overall: 10
Facelift Reviewed by: Last To Fall, on august 24, 2004
4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: The band's first cd is arguably thier heaviest album. Each track on this album is chock full of great riffs and shredding guitar solos, but even with such great guitar work by Jerry Cantrell the vocals stand as the most impressive part of the album as with most AIC albums. Layne Staley's vocal tone throughout the album is filled with anger and pain. Each line that he sings, serious or not, stings with emotion. Even though few of the songs on this album stray from the heavy metal genre, each song seems quite fresh from the last song. // 10

Lyrics: Alice In Chains is known for thier depressing lyrics and melodies and this album certainly holds up to it. While I would have to say that the lyrics that Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell wrote improved with each album after this, the lyrics written here are no less than exceptional. The only thing this album lacks are the deeply personal lyrics that came from the following AIC albums. The singing and great creativity in thier writing makes up for most of that though. // 10

Overall Impression: All in all this was an amazing start for the band. They created thier own voice and 12 quality songs with thier debut. Every song is extremely unique and never gets boring. I'd have to say that the stand out tracks would be "We Die Young", "Man in the Box", "Sea of Sorrow" and Bleed the Freak". If I lost this album I would be sure to buy it again as quickly as possible. // 10

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overall: 10
Facelift Reviewed by: PsychoWolfD, on september 06, 2004
4 of 6 people found this review helpful

Sound: Alice in Chains' debut album has an awesome sound. I absolutely do not care if they use grunge distortion, those guys play heavy metal and they play it good. So far, my best favorite band of the 90's is Alice In Chains. 'Facelift' is a great start. The solos in the songs are worthy of a metal guitarist. The riffs are killer too. The lyrics are more on the dark side to me, and it goes well with the music. // 10

Lyrics: 01. "We Die Young" - My best favorite on the album. I like the intro riff and the other riffs like it, and the solo. 02. "Man In The Box" - A great hit for AIC. I favor the chorus the most. I love the solo. 03. "Sea Of Sorrow" - I liked the intro. 04. "bleed The Freak" - Great music and lyrics. 05. "I Can't Remember" - meh, Ok song. 06. "Love/Hate/Love" - I love the lyrics, especially "I live for you, but I'm not alive". I thought that was pretty catchy. The music is creepy and awesome. 07. "It Ain't Like That" - Love the chorus. 08. "Sunshine" meh, Ok song. 09. "Put You Down" - Cool song. Like the music. 10. "Confusion" - I like the chorus and how its sung. 11. "I Know Somethin (bout You)" - Awesome intro. Great singing. 12. "Real Thing" - Liked the lyrics. // 10

Overall Impression: Layne Staley is a great singer RIP. Jerry Cantrell is a great guitarist and I like his riffs and his solos are awesome. The other members are great too. I actually bought the 12 songs off RealPlayer's music store, for 6 dollars (49 cents per song, man! But I heard they aren't going to stay that cheap so buy your songs fast!) Great album. Don't diss it because it incorporates grunge distortion. Get it now. // 10

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overall: 10
Facelift Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 26, 2006
4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: Well, to start this review off, I'd just like to say that some of the other reviews didn't do this album justice. This is quite possibly my favorite album. My guitar teacher gave me an old Facelift tape X-Mas of '05. I'd already heard some Alice In Chains but it wasn't huge on them and I hadn't really that much on Facelift so I went home and put it on. I immediately fell in love with 2 songs, Sunshine and We Die Young. I couldn't stop and still can't listening to those songs. This album is chocked full of original and catchy riffs and some damn good solos. Jerry Cantrell is one of my favorite guitarists, not in the technical sense, but in the pure music making sense. Sure you can go a million miles an hour on the fret but does it matter if it sounds like crap? Layne's vocals are another thing that bring this album together. From eerie vibes you get from Love, Hate, Love, and I Can't Remember, to the catchy light melodies on Put You Down and on I Know Somethin' ('Bout You). The bass on drums on this album are also nothing to sneer at. I've noticed that a lot of people doing these reviews don't really touch on the awesome bass and drum work. They tend to focus more on the guitar and vocals, but give credit where credit is due. The bass and drums set a nice foundation for the whole album. All in all you'll get a nice mix of sounds from this band's first album. // 10

Lyrics: Another thing is, right above the box I'm typing this in, it says, "Singer skills?" as something I assume to help you get started. But wouldn't that go in the Sound category? Just a thought. Anyway, again the lyrics are something I just can't get enough of. Also, as you'll find with the sound, you get a nice mix of lyrics. Take for example the lyrics for I Can't Remember. "Remember identity, the visions in my mind from screaming at me, but mama, mama, my angry brains of infnacy." Then look at the lyrics for I Know Somethin'('Bout You). "I'm gonna tell your papa. Yeh I'm gonna try and ball your babe. Your gold key don't fit my crapper, ain't got no shit today." Very different, kind of refreshing to. // 10

Overall Impression: Well, after all is said an done, this is a great album that you'll enjoy again and again. What else can I say? I can't really find one complaint about this album. It's one of my favorites, in some interviews they ask the artist, "What's the one album you can't live without?" well, if someone were to ask me that, I could safely say, "Alice In Chain's first album, Facelift." // 10

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overall: 8
Facelift Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 10, 2004
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound in this record is good, but not so well produced as efforts to come(on the same band), although it helps, cause it adds some atmosphere to the whole concept, which is very depressive. It has rock, early grunge, funk, all mixed up, in the end it turns out a very unique sound; and Layne Staley voice at his best, very powerful and dramatic, it goes straight to your soul (you almost suffer with him and his problems). Dry and dark sound. As many records and shows of that time (early 90's), this one is dedicated to Andy Wood (Mother Love Bone singer) who died from heroin overdose. Destiny and His irony wanted that 12 years after this, Jerry Cantrell dedicated his second solo album to Layne Staley, who also died from heroine and cocaine overdose. // 6

Lyrics: Great lyrics, various subjects on them: Layne's drug addiction, kids dying on the streets, some break up with ex-girlfriend, inner feelings of confusion and pain. AIC was the darkest side from an already dark movement born in the saddest and rainiest city of all, so you won't sing to happiness and joy of life with this record, but there's many ways to enjoy music, this is one of them (ask "Teeth of Lions Rule The divine" followers how they enjoy what they hear) What can I say about Layne Staley that hasn't been said before. The dude is God and His angels singing. No one sings better, everyone called him "The voice of grunge". He can make you feel his illness so well that you can almost forgive him for his problems, he's so emotional, so pasional, it makes you wanna cry. He gets very high notes without screaming, like his fella Chris Cornell. // 8

Overall Impression: One of the albums of the decade, at least from the alternative rock movement. The other one has to be "Nevermind". The follow up to this album was "Dirt", which was very well produced, and is excellent as well; but I liked Facelift from the very first listening for its raw sound, and its emotion. Highly recommended, and of course I'd buy it again if stolen/lost, even if I had to sell something to purchase it. // 10

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overall: 9
Facelift Reviewed by: AnimeRockerXD, on july 08, 2013
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is Alice In Chains' first album and the sound is great for a debut, production is top notch and the band brought their A-game. If someone asked me to explain what this album sounded like I would say a mix between Black Sabbath and Guns N' Roses with AiC's original style. The guitar work is pretty good, some really heavily Pantera-ish riffs with bluesy solos with a lot of feeling. The drums are pounding, clear and on some songs really complex. The bass is really prominent on this album and really give the tracks some backbone. The album has a wide variety of sounds from pure metal songs like "We Die Young" to almost '80s glam songs like "I Know Something (Bout You)" and some that sound completely original like "Love, Hate, Love" overall, the sound is really good but not as good as it would be on later albums. // 9

Lyrics: Jerry Cantrell (guitarist) has the most writing credits. The lyrics deal with drug addiction, death, love and obsession which is pretty standard stuff for AiC and it works. The vocals of the late great Layne Staley really add to the songs he gives them so much emotion you can't help but respect him for that. He's got an incredibly unique and powerful voice that shines through on tracks like "Man in the Box", "Sunshine", "Love, Hate, Love" and "Confusion". The Lyrics and singing are great just great. // 9

Overall Impression: This album really gives you a glimpse of what's to come from the band, even though they've taken elements from other bands they do it in a way that isn't ripping them of and they infuse it with their own sound. Let's take a minute to do a track by track review. 1. "We Die Young": Short track, starts out with a powerful riff pounding drums and a thumping bass then the vocals come in and that's where things come together in the middle there are a few shredding solos and then a great climax. Excellent opening track. 2. "Man in the Box": Oh boy, even if you haven't heard of Alice In Chains chances are you've heard this song it was their first big hit but it most certainly wasn't their last. Great riff and beautiful chorus with the infamous "Jesus Christ, deny your maker" and then that wah-full solo. Amazing track. 3. "Sea of Sorrow": This song has a good opening and it really shows off Layne and Jerry's vocal harmonies the chorus has some really great drum solos/fills and a pretty good bass line followed by a beautiful solo. 4. "Bleed the Freak": Acoustic guitar intro followed by haunting vocals by Layne then a heavy Sabbath-esque riff a great solo and powerful ending. One of my favorites. 5. "I Can't Remember": Really ironic how this song is called "I Can't Remember" because it's one of the most memorable songs on the album a great chorus and decent solo and a tight ending with the bass and drums. 6. "Love, Hate, Love": This song in my honest opinion is the best on the album possibly the best Alice In Chains song ever. Great vocals by Layne, heavy bass and drums oh man, those drums. Excellent just excellent. 7. "It Ain't Like That": Starts off when a Bluesy riff and Layne delivering some great vocals then when the chorus hits you with those harmonies it'll blow your speakers out with pure power. 8. "Sunshine": One of my favorites, great bass line and guitar in the verses then once again the harmonies in the chorus are just awesome followed by one of Cantrell's best solos. 9. "Put You Down": One of my least favorite from the album, not bad but nothing stands out it has no solos and nothing that really stands out. 10. "Confusion": Powerful song, great rhythm section and haunting chorus featuring bassist Mike Starr singing "Love, Hate, Sex, Pain" in the background. 11. "I Know Somethin' (Bout You)": An almost glam metal song but still pretty good strong bass/drum opening followed by Layne making some odd throat noise that gets you moving and some great vocals in the verses and chorus. 12. "Real Thing": Another one of my least favorites, it doesn't sound like AiC here it sounds more like a Guns N' Roses wannabee band, this songs real strength is in the lyrics showing off a humorous side of the band and a great ending line. Overall, this is a great debut and the only tracks I don't like are "Put You Down" and "Real Thing" but even those are pretty good. If I ever lost this I'd buy it right away. // 9

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overall: 7.7
Facelift Reviewed by: larry jones, on september 25, 2006
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album, arguably, started an new era of grunge that Nirvana and Pearl Jam would eventually popularize. Alice In Chains' metallic influences are immediately noticable from the demonic and fast paced first track, "We Die Young". The most notable song on the album is undoubtedly "Man In The Box," most likely the band's biggest hit ever. The following tracks display AIC's unique sound that is only further built upon in "Dirt" and "Alice In Chains". // 8

Lyrics: Layne Staley's lyrics are very basic, but his voice is very distinguishable, aided by Jerry Cantrell's background vocals. Layne sings with a bleak and hopeless groan that is both frightening and melodic. Although lyrically bland, the sound of Alice In Chains is only improved on with Staley's brooding vocals. // 7

Overall Impression: Alice In Chains creates a style all their own with this release. An excellent starting point for a band poised to take over rock, yet destined to fall just as fast as they rose to the top. The debut album is an impressive look at what AIC would offer with their next album, "Dirt". // 8

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